Celebrate 2012 in London
Tuesday, 3 April 2012
With the seasons changing and summer officially in sight, spring is the perfect time of year to start planning your vacation. If you're considering a trip to the England, and London in particular, there is plenty to keep you entertained in 2012.
A year of national celebration is underway; in the run up to the London Olympics and Paralympic games there are a plethora of promotional events and concerts slated to take place between May and July.
Book your trip to coincide with the Olympic Torch Relay, which will pass through Greater London and end at the Olympic Stadium between 21 - 27 July. If you've missed out on tickets for the games themselves taking place between 27 July - 12 August and 29 August - 9 September, don't fear as many pubs across the country will be broadcasting the competitions, in addition to outdoor public screens at Hyde Park and Victoria Park, moving to Trafalgar Square during the September.
With an initiative set up called London Live, aiming to bring the games closer to those in London at the time, expect lots of events including live music, arts, performances and sports participation, to take place on each day of the games until midnight.
There will also be a spectacular 'Best of British' concert in Hyde Park to mark the closing ceremony on Sunday 12th August, which will see acts as diverse as Blur, New Order and The specials.
If sport doesn't get your heart racing, another landmark event occupying London's cultural calendar is that of the forthcoming Diamond Jubilee which will celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's 60 year reign. Expect to see commemorative exhibitions, street parties and local events in May and June; great for those looking to immerse themselves in all things quintessentially British.
For holiday-makers with a keen interest in the monarchy there are several sites dotted across London with none much grander than Westminster Abbey. With the first wedding anniversary of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge fresh on the horizon, relive the event of 2011 for yourself and follow in their regal footsteps.
An imposing Gothic church dating back to the 10th Century, Westminster Abbey is steeped in history, holding coronations back as far as King Harold in 1066 and is the final resting place of many public and national figures among royalty including Sir Isaac Newton, Oliver Cromwell and Charles Dickens.
Whilst in the Abbey grounds take advantage of being in the heart of Westminster and relish the close proximity and unobstructed view of the House of Commons and Big Ben.
The Tower of London is yet another iconic landmark which features so heavily in British history. Nowhere else in London can you combine a tour of the Queen's most treasured jewellery, in the form of the Crown Jewels and watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony, whilst enjoying unrivalled views of Tower Bridge and the River Thames.
To complete your royal tour a visit to Buckingham Palace is a must, whilst on the outskirts of London, Windsor Castle is as spectacular as official royal residences go: it is the largest inhabited castle in the world and the longest occupied palace in Europe.
With plenty of things to do in London, no matter what your interests you're sure to be entertained. Discovering London's most iconic landmarks needn't be expensive as there are several deals to be had, provided you do your research.
If you're keen on taking in as many attractions as possible during your visit, save on sightseeing in London with free entry to over 55 top London tourist attractions: from cinema deals and theatre at Shakespeare's Globe, to a Thames river cruise and entry to sights as diverse as London Zoo and HMS Belfast.
Offering free or discounted entry to numerous attractions, previously mentioned, in addition to concessions in various restaurants and shops, a London Pass smart card, for example, will enable you to explore all the big sites on a relatively low budget.
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